cheating and multiaccounts Dots and Boxes
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purgency at 2015-03-14
there’s two things I have to clarify/confess:
1. I’m both Dryad and 7ics.
2. both Dryad and 7ics were playing their games using the help of computers (Dots and Gomoku).
I have actually been thinking about whether I should reveal this or not for quite a while now, arguments against doing so were mostly that it’s first of all not something I feel very comfortable with doing but also that the faked existence of several honest players may put the leaderboard into a more glorious light than admitting that three players are only one dude who is doing shitty things on top of that. Additionally, it might not be something anybody even wants to hear so I’m possibly just being an even bigger asshole by saying all this.
One argument for exposing it is that it’s simply the truth and lying is always bad... right? Yeah right. Well, in that context I just kind of want to settle things for myself, I don’t want to carry these lies forever. Another reason is that I don’t want people to hope for either Dryad or 7ics to reappear since it’s just not going to happen and I know how I felt when sghsal said he would retire. Richard Moxham messaged me yesterday saying that he would regret if Dryad were to retire from Morelli and I don’t know if there’s others who feel that way but it may be and I just definitely don’t want that. I’m also creating the wrong impression that top players in Dots and Boxes tend to appear out of nowhere and retire after a short while.
So yeah, that’s something that was on my mind for a while. I don’t want to place another textwall here explaining why I did what I did since I don’t even know if anybody is interested in knowing that anyways, so instead you may want to check out this bit of extra information which explains a little more. You may ask questions too, I’m now ready to answer everything truthfully.
Finally I want to offer a sincere apology for all the shit I did. Sorry to anyone who has been affected ingame and sorry to those who may feel hurt reading this.
Richard Moxham at 2015-03-14
Thank you for this fascinating (and, I also felt, rather moving) piece of honesty.
On BoardGameGeek the debate periodically resurfaces as to whether abstract games are really – seriously – mortal combat without the death bit. Both Christian Freeling and I take the view that the answer is yes and that that’s the whole essence of such games. The consensus among other contributors is, on the whole, the opposite. Well, if proof were needed of how much winning can seem to matter to the individual...
I wouldn’t presume to condemn the practices you admit to, and in fact I’m struggling even to stir up in myself anything beyond very mild disapproval. ( I’m sure some will demand excommunication.) But I would just like to know, out of purely selfish interest, how far if at all your Morelli successes were computer-assisted.
Best wishes (and I mean that)
Dryad at 2015-03-14
I didn’t use computers to analyse my Morelli games, unless using paint as a tool for analysis is a problem. The games in which I cheated were Dots and Boxes and Gomoku and only these. Also thanks for understanding.
Sean_Hettenbach at 2015-03-14
Hey Purge!:) Couple of things;
First, It’s really cool and courteous of you to come out and announce this to the dnb community. It takes a lot ‘guts’ to come out and say this. So thanks for the honesty.
Second, I’ve been there, but on a smaller scale. When I was 13 or so, I created multiple accounts on yahoo chess. All using a program called ‘Fritz’. Super easy to get a hold of at any local Walmart. The game could be found where the computer games are located. All this to simply gain a high rating and establish some sense of accomplishment. Well that’s when I saw what the program did my playstyle. It changed it to a mathematical, and more sequential playstyel. Everything was based on memory of position and things to look for and how to identify a winning or losing position. Great right? No, because there was no creation happening. There was nothing unique or interesting. Noting original. I remember playing 4x4 dots and boxes on yahoo dots, and got real tired of the boring and repetitive as well as overplayed openings:
As a result I decided to formulate my own openings as first player and as well as second player. I would play my self over and over again during readings or whatever it was we were doing. I was obsessed and this was at the age of 12. So as a result of the program using, I realized how to takes away from the creative play. People don’t want to see the same opening every time. They want to see something new, something different. When the players who invent these different and new strategies and concepts they discuss the game ourselves. That’s what the program takes away. The problem solving in between ‘question and answer’. The solving it and working together to get the answer. That’s what’s fun.
Now, having said this, the machines don’t ruin the game. I actually like them, because they are the calculator to the original problem. And we don’t use the calculator to get the answer, no rather, to check the answer, to confirm the answer. See, in chess, the program would rate the position as winning losing or equal. It would give a percentage for each move, as to how many outcomes were winning, losing, or equal. Very simple with a computer with over god knows how many positions in its memory base... anyways. This helped though to recognize, what positions to avoid, rather than ones to be played into. If I can avoid a position that I know is losing, just avoid it. Process of elimination. This has helped my board game abilities as well as abilities outside of board games. It’s a simple problem solving skill developed from in depth understanding on the dimensions of turn based games. Dots has done this tremendously. I picked this game back up in 2010 after a long break. (a year or so) Anyways, this is when I developed this ‘skill’. I would play games on this website, and it was accessible from my mobile phone... Now being a freshman in high school with this type of capability, and being a kid who used to play himself during school when he was in 6th grade... Well, I think you can see where I’m going with this. I spent hours analyzing one position, and have a whole page of possibilities. The 5x5 board was such a fascinating board because it was newer, more possibilities. So I studied this game for a while but because of a couple of things, I had to set aside my obsession with the game, and focus on me for a while. That was 2012. Well now I’m back in 2015 to bring back my abilities and put it back into the community. If being able to understand something to a point that most do not, being able to teach them properly, and efficiently so that the level of competition can become very high. We can have a more vast pool of high level dnb players to discuss games with. Discuss ideas and discoveries. And name these things, so that when we play this with our children, and our children’s children, we can say “and this is the chicken wing” or the “flipster response” or the “Cameron opening” or whatever it may be. Something we can teach our children that will get their minds going at a young age and giving them something that lets them express their creativity.
Rather long, but the point is this. I know what it’s like, to have no competition around you that can play at your level. That’s why we have things like this, that bring those of us who have a passion for the game, and a great grasp of it, conjugate to play each other. To test our abilities. And when beaten, to give us that snap back to reality, that we are human, we aren’t perfect, and we can still lose, but guess what? Best 2 out of 3!:)
I was not h
Sean_Hettenbach at 2015-03-14
I was not however offended about the being lied to, because well, I’ve only known you for a little while, and guess what? People tend to lie first and then tell the truth later. Haha it’s just human. You just end up looking back and laughing at it. I don’t know how this will effect you on this site though? If you get banned or what ever for mulit accounts... well that’s just stupid. You should be able to plead your case, get a fair trial, and I’m sure this community would love to have someone with your knowledge of the game on board. Now, to give you some hope! I’m simply taking a break, to learn the game. I’m currently teaching my younger cousins and sibling how to play this game. I’m going to learn this game inside and out, and be able to explain things so that people can understand it. I told you that I’m going to return better than ever. So from now until the time that I return for play... You better get better, because I’m gonna really test your skills and abilities. And the games we play are going to be games for the dnb history books! Believe it!
Sean_Hettenbach at 2015-03-15
Also hear me on this. You are only 18. Being 20 years old, I remember how I was before. Obsessed with winning, and willing to do anything to win. I still used program assistance to win chess games online when I was 16. It’s not uncommon for people to do things to such an extent just to win. But as you get older, you really do start to understand things more and more. You start to see the world differently. All your attitudes to different things change. You mature and start to see why you really had fun doing the things you used to do. And why is winning so fun? Because its the prize of hard work and talent. Being rewarded for something you strive to get better at. You are getting there, with your post here and everything. That adult sense of reality is starting to form in you. Stay positive, and idk as to everyone else on the site, but if you ever need some advice or someone to talk to about what ever it may be man, just shoot me a message or even better a game invite and we can talk over a nice game of dnb!:)
purgency at 2015-03-15
Haha, thank you for your kind words Sean, really. I like your enthusiasm, I can definitely identify myself with what you wrote and I’m glad you don’t feel offended.
Idk if I’m really being that courageous. Getting banned isn’t really something I am afraid of to be honest, everybody knows that Richard Malaschitz doesn’t prevent things like these, and another thing is that reactions in the form of “wow, thanks for being so honest” were kind of the most logical ones to follow so Idk if there was anything to fear really, although it did take me 4 month to confess and I guess not everyone will accept this so easily; but yeah, I also do like the way I’m trying to change recently.
One special trait about cheating in Dots and Boxes is that there is no negative side effects other than having a bad conscience. Programs are good at endgames where your only choice is calculating anyways. In fact, I believe that using a program has helped me a lot to improve my own intuitive play for endgame positions and I will actually continue to use that program for checking if I played an endgame correctly — with the difference that I’m doing it after a game is finished. Playstyle on the other hand matters up to a point in the game where cheating isn’t even possible which is why your personal playstyle isn’t that much affected by the cheating. I think that’s a major difference to what you mentioned about cheating in chess, but that of course doesn’t make it a righteous thing to do.
And yeah, I’m looking forward to your return. See you. :)
Christian K at 2015-03-16
Well that sucks. I am sorry to hear it.
Carroll at 2015-03-16
Yes this is sad as it sheds a bad light on D&B.
I think you should at least resign in all the games where you have multi-accounts.
purgency at 2015-03-16
Thank you both for stating your honest opinion.
Carroll, are you referring to the game between Dryad and 7ics? That was pretty much a douchebag move, yeah... it was actually one of the main reasons making it super hard for me to confess this, seeing as Christian even went through the trouble of making a video about it. At that time I was too fixed on not acting weird which could reveal my identity and that made me play the game — like... theoretically, if Dryad and 7ics were not the same dude, they would be eager to play each other. Although, before that I tried to stop 7ics from advancing to the second round of the monthly by resigning a won game in the first round which unfortunately didn’t work.
Carroll at 2015-03-16
No I mean all the games where you have multiple accounts. If LG is accepting this behovior, you should keep only one account to prevent such things as you describe above.
Even for Morelli where I thought I was playing purgency where in fact I’m against Dryad who is not ranked 1500+.
purgency at 2015-03-16
Ah, I see. I can resign the 2 games of Go, the 6 games of Dots and Boxes and the 12 games of Morelli if that is what you want me to do. However I’m not sure if that’s any solution. You see, the account that continues playing will be purgency while Dryad will disappear forever, and purgency has a lower rating than Dryad... I understand that rating exists for a reason and that as an effect of what I did you will lose more rating points if beaten by me as well as possibly underestimate me in the purgency games. The issue with resigning all games is that my rating will only drop even lower and then it will be purgency with a rating of 1300 against others as soon as I start new games. I don’t want to be an asshole once again, I just want to make sure that what I do is really the best thing before messing up even more.
And then you wrote me an ingame message which I think can be talked about in public:
"I first took it with humor (hence I did not respond in the forum), but to be honest now I’m more pissed off, especially after I though your D&B analysis of my puzzle was honest and you just made a fool of me."
The analysis of your puzzle was absolutely honest. I did not use any program until my last post in which I stated that I was using one. Everything I wrote was written out of interest in the puzzle. I mentioned that I started playing Dots and Boxes merely because I wanted to win, not because I was interested in the game itself. That is true. I however developed a real interest in the game as I kept playing otherwise I wouldn’t go through the trouble of saying all this. Dots and Boxes really means a lot to me.
MisterCat at 2015-03-20
Hey, computer sci guy, right? Wish you could have managed to post your linked ‘extra information’ in a format besides plain text; I’m now feeling quite nauseus moving my eyes back and forth and scrolling left to right like crazy, just to read the thing! Maybe I could have saved the text and opened in another format, or something, but I’m using a library computer here! Oh, well – now to my comments.You are not the first case of computer cheating I have heard of at LG. In fact, I had a ‘cheater’ personally confess to me (name shall remain unannounced) and then quit the site, I guess in a burst of conscience.You have already explained your take and motivations quite thoroughly; that other dude had similar ideas, and let us not fool ourselves here – this is just the tip of an iceberg of computer cheaters at LG, in all games where it’s possible. This topic of discussion has so many threads here – many going back a decade or so – way before our time.For me, I find that I just don’t care that much about winning or losing; if I get defeated in any game by a superior player, I say power to them. The only time I might get bothered is when I botch a game that I know I was winning, by my own carelessness or shortcomings in skill. But when this happens, it is really all on me – and it doesn’t really matter WHO (or what) I was playing.However, for the few strategy games that I play regularly (DB, 4ir, Reversi, Twixt, Chess), I WILL say that when I find that I have been playing against unannounced software (and, naturally get my ass kicked), I feel that it has been a TOTAL WASTE OF MY TIME. This is really my biggest complaint. I used to really enjoy playing Chess against computer software, back when the software strength was such that I could win some games against it, fair and square. My positional ability, experience, and common sense would prove to be able to beat the computer’s calculating strength. But – not anymore. I don’t need to waste my time getting crushed by computer software that competes at or above the level of world champions. I’m convinced – I KNOW that I will get mercilessly creamed, and those losses will just be consistent reminders in defects in my calculating skills. There is no longer anything for me to learn then, and I have not played against software for a long time.This is true in general, though, of course here we have a few programs that play at ‘human-like’ strength, and naturally are getting entered into tournaments by there creators – you know, Ro-Ro-bot, Twixtbot and a few others. I have to face them from time to time, though prefer not to.This is one reason that I am delighted that my FAVORITE game, Twixt, has so-far remained impervious to software superiority. This game includes profound analysis, playing styles, and lots of suprises. Apparently, also, the search tree is just TOO DAMN BIG for any traditional software approaches to produce a program of serious playing strength. GREAT! When I play Twixt, I know I’m facing a human.In fact, I’m going to assume that when you beat me in our one game (and I complimented your play), you did it with hard analysis and creative thinking; not computer cheating. Of course – there are OTHER KINDS OF CHEATING OUT THERE. One that I have in mind (and suspect ALSO GOES ON HERE AT LG) is when player A makes a move, but player B has a game going on with another player – maybe at another website – and makes the same move against ‘master’ player C; player C responds, and player B then simply relays the move back to the game against player A, who loses; never realizing that he was actually facing MUCH tougher competition than expected. I know there’s a name for this type of cheat; don’t recall what it is, though.I stopped playing db after only 32 games; in part because I came to realize that there was just too much theory that lots of other folks knew that I simply did not, and in part because I was fairly certain that many of my opponents were software. I was fairly sure that many of my opponents in Reversi were also software, so switched to Reversi 10x10 – since it is possible that software has not been developed for that (the game is relatively unknown, and has not been released commercially). I am very wary of playing fir as well, though I have a reasonable record at this; but championship software is common. What I do for Chess is to make sure my opponent has plenty of losses; I get suspicious when I see a player with a perfect, or near-perfect winning record.So I agree with statements above that praise you for your brave admission. ATTABOY! And if you would like to get admonished a bit, then I’ll just repeat that facing a computer opponent, for me, is just A BIG WASTE OF MY PRECIOUS TIME; thanks for nothing! However, you and I have never played db anyhow. I just thought I’d offer a few comments here.The dizziness is starting to pass. (meow)